PWDs appealing for sitting Volleyball funding

PWDs appealing for sitting Volleyball funding  


March 17, 2024

 By Choice Magazine

Saul Utete

Choice News Africa

Bulawayo – Persons with disabilities in Bulawayo have embarked on vigorous training of the little known sitting volleyball, a sporting discipline played seated in doors, at Sir Humphrey Gibbs Training Centre, for the care and education  of the intellectually handicapped, as they prepare for October 2024 sitting volleyball competition to be held in South Africa.

It is a form of volleyball for physically challenged athletes though at a non-international level, it can be played by anyone.

Sitting volleyball practice captured at Sir Humphrey Gibbs recently. Pic Choice News Africa

The game originated in Netherlands in 1956 as a “demonstration” sport during the 1976 Paralympic Games in Toronto Canada.

It was first included in competition in the 1980 Anthem Netherlands Paralympic Games.

Irene Moyo the Marketing Director for Sitting Volleyball Bulawayo told Choice News Africa that the sporting discipline was not very popular in the country, at the moment.

“It is a sporting activity played seated indoors by persons with disabilities. The sport is not popular in Zimbabwe, maybe because it is an indoor sporting activity that makes it difficult for people to see athletes play, unless one is invited to witness it. It’s not like basketball, soccer, athletics and many other sporting disciplines.

Now that the sporting is rarely talked about, we are facing financial challenges that even the ministry of sports find it difficult to channel funds to us, as they think it is a waste of money.

We are now appealing for funds from the corporate world, friends and well-wishers to come to our rescue so that we fulfill our game in South Africa.

In January, we missed a game in Nigeria because we did not have money, so we are afraid that the same thing might happen again.” Said Moyo

She also said that, because disability in today’s society is still stigmatized as such to get funding remained an uphill task.

“What worsen the situation is that, the game is being played by persons with disabilities who are still at the receiving end due to stigmatisation. So getting funding is a big challenge, many people think it’s a waste of money to support us.

Currently we are using our own money in funding all the activities, be it training practices, or fulfilling local match fixtures. Soon we are going to play with a team in Harare before the South Africa game. We are racing against time, hence if anyone interested in helping us, our preparations may become manageable.” Added Moyo.

Sitting volleyball Coach Sokuqala Gumbo concurred with Irene for the need of funding.

“We are dearly requesting for donor funding so that our preparations and movement from one place to another becomes possible.

I also encourage women who are physically challenged to come and play sitting volleyball for a long time now, persons with disabilities are said to be not able to do anything ,but this is one sporting they can play amongst many others.

Taking part in different sporting disciplines can offer them exposure, socializing and sharing their experiences with other people from different countries and environments.” said Gumbo.

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